I never thought I’d say it, but I had more than my fill of Winter this year and it wasn’t even a bad one. I always thought if I could plan Mother Nature’s calendar, I’d have one month of Spring, two months of Summer, five months of Autumn, and four months of Winter. Maybe the appeal of slogging through the snow weakens as I grow older, because I’m seriously thinking of taking one of those months away from Winter and giving it to Summer. I know there were days this past Winter when I’d listen to the wind whistling around my home and think that I am so ready to trade in my warm, fuzzy socks for flip-flops.
So, it’s with a great deal more enthusiasm that I look at the coming weeks here at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) in Cape May, and count all the ways we have to welcome Spring. It’s always nice to see the town coming back to life. Shops, restaurants and B&Bs are opening their doors to Spring visitors, and it’s nice for us to see our historic sites, like the Physick Estate, the Lighthouse and the World War II Tower, humming again. Our Museum Division staff always gives the 1879 house an extra thorough cleaning during the winter months, and everything glows. We have an interesting theme for house tours this year, as well. It’s called “What’s for Dinner: Victorian Food & Foodways” and you’ll hear about some of the many ways Victorians shaped our modern cuisine and left indelible marks on the foods we enjoy today.
In a couple of days, we start our annual Spring Celebration, April 26 through May 19, with a host of things to do, not only for visitors but for us house-bound locals, as well, who want to get out and enjoy the sunshine. If you love gardening and plants, don’t miss the new Garden Tour and visit some of Cape May’s cherished gardens, including the six garden areas here at the Physick Estate.
The Carriage House Café & Tearoom once again opens its doors starting with Spring Celebration, with a brand new tent this year to keep visitors dry or shaded, no matter what the weather does to us. It’s nice to see the kitchen come to life again, and know that the aroma of freshly-baked tea breads will soon be wafting up the stairs to our offices on the second floor.
Our trolleys have been rotating in and out of service during the winter months, getting tune-ups and inspections and are now ready for the streets of Cape May, a perfect way to see the beautiful Victorian architecture and the Spring blooms.
For Lighthouse lovers, there’s the new exhibit in the Carroll Gallery at the Carriage House. “The Iconic Cape May Lighthouse: from the Pages of the First Resort,” has a wealth of fascinating photos and history about the Lighthouse and its keepers. It’s a must-see.
We shouldn’t beat up on Mother Nature too much for dishing out cold, snowy winters, because it does make Springtime all that much sweeter, and winter gives the staff here at MAC a chance to recharge our batteries and come up with creative new things to do.
So, there is plenty to do or, if you prefer, just come and enjoy a rejuvenating spring day on the grounds of the estate and do a little shopping, explore the grounds or treat yourself to a delightful Tea Luncheon. You’ve earned it.
-- Jean Barraclough is manager of publications & website at MAC